Feeling a bit discouraged these days because of God’s inability to hear your cry? You are in good company. Reading the spiritual adventures of the prophets and saints of old, I see that this is a common lament for God’s children. How can this be, that our loving Father can “let us down and disappoint us?”
I’m studying Jeremiah right now. I was comforted to find that this awesome righteous and chosen prophet faced the same dialectical situation. Like two opposing forces that will never meet…God is good and God disappoints. Really? Really?
God seemed to let Jeremiah down in three ways: He did not answer Jeremiah’s prayers (15:1-14), he sent him sufferings he did not deserve (vv. 10b, 15), and he failed to reward him for his obedience (vv.16-18). (Jeremiah and Lamentations by Phillip Graham Ryken).
Jeremiah, the prophet who wept because of his passionate prayers for the lost, was a complete failure in his intercessions. I think God’s inspired Word gave us this example of “prayer failure” so that we would not be discouraged when our crying out seems to fall on deaf ears.
God’s remedy for this spiritual discouragement is that we must develop big huge trust muscles . We must choose to fall back on His promises that assure us that no pain is ever wasted, no failure is ever final. Truly, “God does work out things for His glory and our good.” (Romans 8:28). If you are in the midst of an unanswered prayer season, just know that you are in the middle of the story and God is not finished yet.
I often tell my clients that the four biggest failures and unanswered prayers in my life have placed me where I am today. God has answered in a surprising and perfect way, abundantly more than I could have asked or imagined!